An unmistakeable and distinctive moth with pinkish-brown markings. The wings are folded along the body at rest which gives the impression of a withered autumn leaf.

The adults are attracted to light and feed on flowers of Common Reed and other grasses. They are frequently seen during the day, resting in the open, on walls, fences or vegetation. They overwinter as larvae so the caterpillars can be seen all year round, feeding in mild weather. They usually pupate in a cocoon just under the soil.

Size and Family

  • Family – Arches, brindles, minors, rustics and allies (Noctuidae)
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 42-50mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

A wide range of herbaceous plants including Common Nettle (Urtica dioica), Hop (Humulus lupulus), Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber), Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius), Bramble (Rubus fruiticosus), Hazel (Corylus avellana), birches and oaks.


Found in a variety of habitats including gardens, hedgerows, fens and woodland.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common and well distributed throughout most of Britain, the Isle of Man and Ireland as well as the Channel Islands. 
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